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How Stress Influences Your Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Story at-a-glance -

  • Stress increases your risk of heart attack and stroke by causing overactivity in your amygdala — your brain’s fear center, which is activated in response to both real and perceived threats
  • People who are highly stressed have higher activity in the amygdala. This in turn triggers arterial inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease, including heart attacks
  • High stress also raises your level of disease-promoting white blood cells, and releases norepinephrine, which can cause dispersal of bacterial biofilms from your arterial walls, thereby triggering a heart attack

By Dr. Mercola

Stress has enormous implications for your health. From an evolutionary perspective, the stress response is a lifesaving biological function that enables you to instinctively square off against an assailant, run away from a predator or take down a prey.


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